I was on annual leave last week and am busy catching up with a hectic schedule this week. Before I went on leave we had our annual conference for all our Registered Managers in CMG. I was really pleased with the great feedback we had for this conference with many saying it was “the best yet”. Everyone who completed the evaluation form at the end of the day agreed that the conference had been useful, motivational and inspiring.
We had some excellent keynote presentations and I would once again like to thank all our speakers for helping to make the day so beneficial. Sharon Allen, OBE, Chief Executive of Skills for Care talked about managing a skilled, knowledgeable and person centred workforce. Jo Grace, Founder of The Sensory Project gave us an inspired presentation on sharing sensory stories with people we support. Gary Bourlet who is the Co-Development Lead from People First England, talked about his organisation that is helping to promote rights for people with learning disabilities.
We also had an incredibly inspirational talk from Geoff Holt, MBE, who is a yachtsman and disability sports ambassador. When Geoff was 18, he was paralysed from the neck down in an accident. Since then he has gone on to make some remarkable achievements in sailing. He entered the history books in 2007 when he sailed solo around Great Britain and in 2010 he became the first quadriplegic to sail unassisted across the Atlantic. Geoff is a great example of how all barriers can be overcome with determination, the right support and positive risk taking. Geoff also talked of his ‘Wet Wheels’ charity, which enables people with any disability to experience sailing which for some would not only be the first time they have ever been on a boat, but also the first time they would have felt water spray on their face. What a great sensory experience and I know a lot of our services will be looking at this as an activity for the people they support.
The day also included workshops where discussions were facilitated, in different subject areas including: ‘relationships and sexuality for people we support’; ‘how to achieve a CQC outstanding rated service’ and ‘an introduction to Neuro Linguistic Programming’. Jo Grace, also hosted a workshop on ‘what makes a good sensory story’ and demonstrated some excellent examples of sensory stories.